Where will the gathering be?

Where will the 2014 gathering be?
Near Heber, Utah. Click here for directions
Who is invited?
Every person with a belly button. If for some reason, you lost your belly button, you are invited as well.
What you really need to know:
How to Get Into The Gathering Without Getting a Mandatory Court Appearance Ticket.
How to Contact Someone?
If after reading the information on this blog, checking out the links on the right hand side, you still have questions, concerns, or problems, email random gatherers for assistance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sustenance and Safety (Part 3 of Creating Peace)

One of the foundations of creating peace is making sure people are prepared, in the right mindset, and able to do the hard work that creating peace entails. Sustenance and Safety are the building blocks of peace.

Sustenance takes care of our bodily needs. We can't think well when our blood sugar is crashing or when we are dehydrated. Adequate food and water is a must for all in order to be able to even discuss peace (stay tuned for part 4 of Creating Peace).

One of the most important actions a person can take at a gathering is making sure everyone is eating and drinking plenty of water. This year we will be in the west and that generally means higher elevation gatherings so that we can be in a place that has shade and water. At higher elevations we need to drink more water. One gallon a day of water that has been boiled for 20 minutes or filtered with a 0.2 micron or smaller filter is a must.

When people haven't eaten or are dehydrated they act out. When they are in these conditions for too long, they get sick.  When you combine these issues with over-indulgences, we have a recipe for problems that can impact the entire gathering. 

Prevent the problems by making sure your and your vicinity is eating and staying hydrated. Be on the look out for people who look like they aren't getting food and/or water and help them before they start breaking the peace. 

Now for the tough topic: safety.

Safety is a bit harder to come by because what constitutes a feeling of safety is a very subjective and emotional feeling.  To explain what I mean, we'll talk about the estuary by my house.  The salt marsh and estuary have been channelized to prevent flooding and on either bank is a trail. The east side is a paved path that hooks up with bike paths to the north and south. The west side is a dirt road with trees providing shade on a warm day as shown in the image.
The Estuary

People in my neighborhood have very different perspectives on the estuary. Some people view it as a haven for criminals and are afraid to go down there especially after dark. Other people loving taking their kids down to watch the Great Blue Herons and Osprey trying to rustle up a meal.

Now you would think there is some logic as to who feels safe at our estuary and who is scared, but so far I haven't observed any patterns.  I see people with small kids down there watching the sunset and in the early morning many seniors walk their dogs. Then I meet other people in their thirties and forties who are scared to go down without a large group of people because once upon a time someone had a bike stolen (maybe 10 or 15 years ago).

In addition to the herons and hawks at the estuary, one finds the differentially housed: people who live in tents or throw down a sleeping bag under a bush for the night.  Some people are scared of people with different lifestyles then their own, others exchange pleasantries with everyone. Some people who live in non-portable houses are sacred of the differentially housed. Others make friends.

Every time I speak at a community meeting, some people go off the deep end on how dangerous the estuary is and others talk about how it's an asset to the community.  I know that I can't change people's opinions about which is which. Plus trying to address how people feel is tough. Your feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.

Low crime rates do not make people feel safe. Community makes us feel safe.

So having said all this, how do we help everyone feel safe at the gathering?

One way we can do this is to treat others the way they would like to be treated -- not the way you would like to be treated.  Try finding gentler voices. Look out for each other in peaceful ways and make sure the people in your vicinity seem comfortable. We all have different levels of tolerance, sensitivity, and fear. Honor that.

If someone looks uncomfortable, they probably are. Introduce yourself. Smile at someone you do not know.  We all feel more comfortable when we are around friends. Share your gathering wisdom. Pay more attention to body language. Learn to pick up vibes from the people around you. If you sense that someone is afraid of a situation, help them to feel comfortable by either staying with them, removing both yourselves from the situation, or trying talking to the other person about their fears in a supportive way.  Just because the situation is comfortable for you, doesn't mean it's comfortable for everyone.

Honor our differences and our need to be treated accordingly. Help each other on this journey.

Please pay special attention to law enforcement officers. A scared cop is a dangerous cop (remember Wyoming 2008?). Turn down the volume on negative energy by oming instead of cussing when you do not like a situation.

Think about how you would like others to act around your three year-old child and your ninety year-old grandmother and act accordingly.


  1. Hurt people hurt people. A dehydrated, sleep deprived stranger can cause a bother, and it is true that this type of situation can be resolved by a few kind hearted people with good vibes, some water and a pillow. The problems that are not mentioned here, like revenge violence or domestic violence are more likely to result in actual serious injuries. You assume the reader's intention is to create peace and safety. You are probably correct in this assumption as most perpetrators of violence are not going to be reading this. Some highly esteemed members of the community have histories of violence. So I'm not sure "community" in itself is a solve I hope you can find a way to address things like intentional and reciprocal threats to safety, bulling, and domestic violence in your next chapter. Thank you and keep up the good work Karin!

  2. Water consumption: take your weight and divide that in half. Take Half your weight in oz. Example 90 pound kid needs 45 oz. of water.180 pound people need 90 oz of water , ect. The gallon rule is good, and I don't no how your supposed to varry it for elevation, but basically keep hydrated all day with filtered or boiled water if your system is not a hard core mountain body that likes fresh lol!.

  3. Thanks Karin for restating the simple things. Simplistic solutions are almost always the best.

    I use the HALT acronym for when I am feeling unpeaceful. Most always hungry, angry, lonely, tired are the causes of my discomfort and if I address those in myself I am able to remain peaceful.

    It is also helpful when dealing with others. I ask myself are they hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I try to offer them what they need. I overthink things too much and I love reading your articles. They remind me simple is best.

  4. Very good post. I specifically appreciate your point that "Just because the situation is comfortable for you, doesn't mean it's comfortable for everyone."

    As someone who deals with anxiety issues, I often realize, on a logical and rational level, that the thing or situation causing me anxiety isn't really dangerous, and "shouldn't" be a big deal. That doesn't change how I feel. Someone telling me, "There's nothing to worry about, everyone else is fine, you should be too" is not helpful. What is helpful is someone acknowledging and respecting how I feel, and asking what they can do to help, even if it doesn't make sense to them.


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I welcome healthy debate on ideas of interest to the 2014 annual gathering of the tribes.